Culture

Halal markets and a mosque draw Oakland’s immigrant Muslim community

At the River Nile Market in Oakland, which is slightly bigger than a city bus, the shelves are crammed with little bits of Yemen, Sudan, Egypt and Lebanon. Cans of fruit, meat and juice carry Arabic script as well as English lettering.  Glass buckets hold spices – cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon and za’atar, a mixture of herbs and spices popular in the Middle East.  Burlap bags of basmati rice spill into the aisles.  Three water pipes, or hookahs, perch on the…

The flip side at the Chandra Cerrito Contemporary

Tucked away between a Subway sandwich shop and a boarded up storefront on Grand Avenue is Mercury 20, a large, one-room art gallery. And upstairs, hovering above it all, is the Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, a small room currently showing the work of three professional art-installers, who happen to be artists themselves.

A new farmer’s market grows at Children’s Hospital

Patients and doctors at Children’s Hospital are now meeting Tuesdays at the new farmer’s market that takes place from 2 to 7 in the parking lot. Jen Cook, a pediatrician there, teamed up with Brett Bennner from Phat Beets, on Mandela Parkway, to establish the market. Cook was inspired after seeing the market at Kaiser in Oakland. “A light bulb went off. It makes total sense,” said Cook. “A hospital is a place of healing and health. A lot of…

Decoding the buzz around Mama Buzz

The Morning Shift. The flat, wide stretch of Telegraph Avenue that runs through the Koreatown-Northgate district is mostly empty when I arrive at Mama Buzz café a few minutes after 7:00 a.m.  A man pushes a shopping cart and some bags of bottles and cans down the sidewalk. A lone woman loads up her car with groceries in the parking lot of Koreana Plaza Market.  One helmeted biker has already beat me to the door of Mama Buzz; he tries…

Local artists in residence speak at Kala Art Institute

Three vastly different young artists presented their latest work Wednesday night at the Kala Art Institute’s new studio space on San Pablo Avenue near the Berkeley-Oakland border. About 30 artists, instructors and community members gathered in a small, high-ceilinged room off of the main studio to drink wine and participate in a discussion that ranged from globalization, existentialism and Derrida to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and psychological issues about self-control. Favianna Rodriguez, 30, an Oakland native whose parents immigrated from Peru,…